Secrecy

The State Department’s ‘Twilight Zone’

Rod Serling, host of the iconic television series, "The Twilight Zone."

The gap between reality and what the U.S. government says is reality has widened into a chasm with the mainstream U.S. news media usually nodding at whatever absurdity is presented, but the AP’s Matthew Lee is one of the few reporters who challenges the State Department’s “Twilight Zone,” as William Blum notes.

Failing Tonkin Gulf Test on Ukraine

President Lyndon Johnson announces "retaliatory" strike against North Vietnam in response to the supposed attacks on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. (Photo credit: LBJ Library)

Exclusive: As the Ukraine crisis worsens, Official Washington fumes only about “Russian aggression” — much as a half century ago, the Tonkin Gulf talk was all about “North Vietnamese aggression.” But then and now there were other sides to the story – and questions that Congress needed to ask, writes Robert Parry.

The Obama-Netanyahu Showdown

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014. The meeting was described as chilly, reflecting the strained relationship between the two leaders. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama has been reduced to asking Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for permission to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, recognizing Netanyahu’s power over the U.S. Congress. But Netanyahu’s determination to block any deal has left Obama traversing a difficult negotiating path, writes Gareth Porter.

Ukraine Finance Minister’s American ‘Values’

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Special Report: Among the arguments for why Americans should risk nuclear war with Russia over Ukraine is that the regime that took power in a coup last year “shares our values.” But one of those “values” – personified by Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko – may be the skill of using insider connections, reports Robert Parry.

President Gollum’s ‘Precious’ Secrets

Gollum, a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings fantasy novels.

Exclusive: Despite promises of “openness,” President Obama has treated information that could inform American democracy like Tolkien’s character Gollum coveted his “precious” ring. Obama is keeping for himself analyses that could change how the public sees the crises in Syria and Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

The Endless Tragedy of Vietnam

Scene from the Vietnam War

For the U.S. government, old lies die hard, even lies as discredited as blaming the North Vietnamese for the Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964, the non-event that launched the Vietnam War and caused ongoing tragedies for those who bombed and those who were bombed, as Myra MacPherson reported from Hanoi.

The Putin-Did-It Conspiracy Theory

President Barack Obama talks with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation as they join other leaders en route to the APEC Family Photo at the International Convention Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: A new truce agreement in Ukraine rekindles hope that the bloodshed can be reduced if not stopped, but Official Washington’s gross misunderstanding of the crisis, blaming everything on Russia’s President Putin, raises doubts and portends a potentially grave catastrophe, writes Robert Parry.

Finding Creative Ways to Torture

George W. Bush taking the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001. (White House photo)

After World War II, Americans led the way in establishing landmark human rights principles, including a repudiation of torture. But more recent U.S. leaders have chosen to disgrace those ideals by devising euphemisms and end-runs to continue the barbaric practices, as Peter Costantini describes.

Ronald Reagan’s Torture

President Ronald Reagan meeting with Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt.

From the Archive: George W. Bush’s torture policies may have been extraordinary in the direct participation of U.S. personnel but they were far from unique, with Ronald Reagan having followed a similar path in his anti-leftist wars in Central America, as Robert Parry reported in 2009.

When Silencing Dissent Isn’t News

Ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern crying out in pain while being arrested on Oct. 30, 2014, in New York City. (A screenshot via The Dissenter at firedoglake.com)

Exclusive: The criminal case against ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern for “resisting arrest” when he was denied entry to a public speech by retired Gen. David Petraeus appears to be nearly over, but the image of police brutally shielding the mighty from a citizen’s question remains troubling, writes Robert Parry.